Origins of Internet, old Physics Today article
hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Tue Nov 3 14:04:34 CST 2009
Mark Tapley wrote:
> Catching up on my old magazine stack yesterday, I came across
> what looked like a good article in Physics Today (Nov. 1998, Vol. 51
> No. 11) entitled "The World Wide Web and High-Energy Physics". It
> described the steps leading to the evolution of HTTP, HTML, and the
> adoption of those protocols at CERN and elsewhere. Nice photos of Tim
> Berners-Lee sitting in front of a NeXTStep screen, and *the* Cube
> that ran the original server.
> The article appears to be on-line at:
> (click on 1998, select the Nov. issue with the icebreaker on
> the cover, look in "articles". I have to admit though, my Safari
> 4.0.3 and Firefox 3.5.1, both on Mac OS 10.4.11, fail to display the
> article .pdf they think they are serving.
> Did anyone else note this article, and can comment on its accuracy?
> Does anyone want/need more info?
I would read it if I could get it with any ease: the pdf link shows up but
takes one to a sign-in page rather than delivering up the pdf (I hate those
sign-up requirements for such things).
I had some involvement with the HEP-community/ CERN / networking issues /
protocol standards battles / blah blah blah in the mid-to-late-80s timeframe
(just before the WWW), so it would be curious to see what the article has to say.
A pithy one-sentence synopsis of the issue in the period: CERN and the European
community were attempting to stick with and mandate the use of ISO/CCITT
standard protocols (OSI) through the 1980s; the internet TCP/IP juggernaut and
other developments (such as their own HTTP) eventually overwhelmed the politics.
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